Hundreds of IT projects deemed ‘at risk’

Several hundred federal information technology projects seeking funding in the fiscal 2004 budget are in jeopardy of being shut down, according to Mark Forman, head of e-government initiatives at the Office of Management and Budget.

Forman, appearing Wednesday before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management, said that 771 projects included in the fiscal 2004 budget-with a total cost of $20.9 billion-are currently at risk and will not be allowed to move forward until agencies present OMB with a successful business case.

Several factors can put a project on the at-risk list, including not having a qualified project manager or inadequate security.

Reiterating the administration's stance that management of IT projects must improve, Forman said agencies need to demonstrate substantial improvements before they will get the green light to move forward.

Overall, the administration's budget calls for $59 billion in IT investments.

Additionally, many agencies are doing a poor job of developing reliable cost estimates for IT projects, according to Patricia Dalton, director of strategic issues at the General Accounting Office.

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